As our dependence on technology increases, so does the threat of engineered attacks against our privacy and security. The more we have connected to the internet, – computers, printers, phones, smart home-enabled devices such as thermostats and doorbells, security cameras, routers, etc. – the more the likelihood of these devices being compromised escalates. Because we’re all potential targets of hackers, scammers and thieves, here are some basic tips to keep in mind while still enjoying the World Wide Web.
Staying up-to-date on the latest software for your devices is the easiest and most important way to ensure your information security. Most security weaknesses can be specified and remedied with updates. Any device that is connected to the internet should be updated, otherwise, your entire network could be at risk. Ways to remain safe while online include using encryption such as emails, files, and folders; using strong passwords containing at least 12 characters, numbers, unusual symbols, upper- and lower-case letters; using a password vault; using a VPN service (Virtual Private Network); and using firewalls to prevent computer viruses and unauthorized persons from accessing your computer.
When you detect that your security has been threatened, act fast to minimize your losses. Resetting your passwords for all accounts and websites is imperative. Also, reset and format your device or devices; file a formal complaint with your local authorities; update software; and keep yourself informed on current breaches in the news. VOIPshield.com is a good website to visit and learn about the 16 most common types of cybercrime attacks from fraud, to viruses, to ransomware, one of the most destructive attacks.
Last year, GeeksforGeeks.org shared ten tips to protect your online data, which are just as relevant in the new year. Click on their link and learn how easily your data can be compromised and used against you. Their basic tips will help make being online more private and secure.
If you have taken all the appropriate steps for securing your digital presence but want to include an extra layer of protection, alternate methods for keeping your information safe and secure include paid identity theft protection companies such as LifeLock, Identity Guard, and Identity Defense. VLFCU members also receive Restoration Rescue®, an Identity Theft Restoration Service when they are enrolled in Value Checking Plus. This program provides the following services:
- Restoration Rescue®service performed by a licensed attorney, highly specialized in identity theft restoration at no additional cost to you.
- They will discuss the applicable laws and time limits that apply to recovery of the lost funds, and you will be offered an option to sign a Limited Power of Attorney, giving them the ability to act on your behalf.
- Their staff will assist in filing police reports and contacting all credit bureaus, creditors, financial institutions, merchants, even utility companies on your behalf.
For more information about Restoration Rescue® and Value Checking Plus benefits, please contact one of our credit union employees.
Here at VacationLand Federal Credit Union, we take member data security very seriously. If our members know about the methods, tricks and techniques being used to steal your data, you can help keep yourself safe while online. And remember, VacationLand will never ask you to provide personal information such as your credit card numbers, pin numbers, security codes, or other personal information via phone, text, or email. We will notify you by mail.
We hope these cyber safety tips will help protect you while using the internet. Please know your privacy is a top priority at VacationLand FCU, and we're doing our part to safeguard your finances.